Giving relationship advice is tough. As a relationship blogger, I like to think I’ve gotten decent at it, which may or may not be true, that’s up for debate. But even if I suck at it, if a friend comes to you and wants your wisdom, here is a loose guide I’ve put together for you:
As girls, we love to talk and talk (and talk) about our relationships. Sometimes, you need a friend to lean on and to bounce ideas off of. But there’s nothing worse than when that friend (who you thought you could trust) isn’t helpful, or worse, doesn’t want you to succeed (if this is the case, get a new friend). If a friend comes to you for advice, it’s not always easy, so be respectful of her and be there for her.
Caution: being optimistic just because she’s your best friend and you love her can be very dangerous. Do your best to be an objective third party. Being on the outside of a relationship can also be very eye-opening: you realize how crazy girls sound when they freak out about their boyfriend sending one-word texts and how they think he’s going to break up with them (true story- this actually happened). When you take your emotions out of it, you realize that not everything is the end of the world and you can give some solid advice.
Again: caution to those who want to be optimistic and not hurt their friend’s feelings. It can be very dangerous to tiptoe around your friend’s feelings and therefore tell them (essentially) useless information. Be the bitch. Tell her what she needs to hear but doesn’t want to. She might not be happy about it at the moment, but she will eventually see that you’re doing it for her own good and be grateful.
Use your own experience
let me tell you: there may be nothing more annoying than a friend when I’m trying to get advice and all she does is say “Oh, well when I dated so-and-so he did this-and-that and then it ended this-way, so you should be careful”. As I shouldn’t have to tell you, relationships are a mixed bag and there will never be the same relationship twice (ever). So please, look at it with fresh eyes and stop trying to force your experience upon everyone else.
Seriously, ladies. This is one of the worst things you can do when giving advice, or just being a friend in general. Even if you’re single, try to do your best to be happy for your friend and not be slightly internally pleased that her perfect relationship is having struggles. If she trusts you enough to go to you for advice, be respectful enough to give it to her.
If she just needs to vent, fine. Listen, absorb, lock it up. But if a friend comes to you for advice, they probably would like a reaction, followed by some words of wisdom. If you have none, do your best to comfort them and assure them it will be okay. But otherwise, do the best you can to be the objective and honest with them- they’ll thank you in the long run.
Disclaimer: all things are invalid if your friend is a hot mess and just needs someone to talk to. Be there, listen, don’t offer advice. This is a totally different situation.